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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Australia lead by 296 yet don't follow enforce follow on: Second Test Day 3

Early in the day's play Brett Lee put Sri Lanka on notice with a magnificent yorker which uprooted Michael Vandort's middle stump. Marvan Atapattu fought hard but also succumbed to Lee; Kumar Sangakkara 57/76b played a good one day innings; only captain Mahela Jayawardene 104/194b played a good test class innings in a cause which moved from a losing to a lost one as wickets fell regularly at the other end. All out 246.

Lee 4/82 from 23.2 overs was the best of the Australian bowlers but Mitchell Johnson, Sturt MacGill and Stuart Clark (with a niggardly 2/32 from 16 overs) all showed their quality.

I thought that, with the end of the day's play not too far away and considering how successful the tactic was in Brisbane, Australia would have enforced the follow on. But caution or tradition or whatever ( and just possibly even logic) prevailed and Ricky Ponting opted to bat again. There is of course plenty of time left for Australia to throttle Sri Lanka, but the prognosis for the next two days, or however long it takes the Australian batsmen to amass a huge lead and the bowlers to work through the demoralised Sri Lankan batting line up a second time, doesn't exactly impel me to be glued to the TV or radio.

In the last 20 overs of the day's play Australia rubbed salt into Sri Lanka's wounds by galloping to 1/111 (quadruple Nelson ?) with Phil Jaques 53no/70b. More of the same is on the menu for the early part of tomorrow.


Brief notes
  • The Channel 9 effects mikes have frequently and clearly picked up calls of "no ball" when Muttiah Muraliduran bowls.
  • The attendances have been poor: just over 5,000 each day.
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